Most people have seen steel shipping containers on the back of a train as it went speeding by. Others have seen them down on the docks, being unloaded from ships or sitting in industrial yards. Keep your eyes peeled and you just may see a shipping container or two housing a family, being turned into a playground for children, or even being twisted into a new shape to decorate your local green space.
There’s a definite trend going global to realize the many great uses for these mega-containers. Their steel construction makes them strong and their size makes them perfect for a ton of uses. The next time you see a shipping container sitting, waiting to be relieved of its contents, see if you can think of a few creative ways to recycle it. Here are ways that some innovative people around the world have upcycled these useful containers:
Whether one story or four, homes in several countries have been constructed using portable shipping containers. While some choose to go the minimalist route, others have added windows, doors, balconies and even staircases. Some people have turned these containers into vacation getaways and others are living in them as their main residence. No matter how people choose to use these containers as part of their construction projects, the results are always impressive.
2. Garden Sheds
Shipping containers make fabulous garden sheds and people are using them more every day. They take up relatively little space in the backyard and are fully customizable. Steel containers also make great workshops or backyard offices for those that don’t have the space in their home. By adding plumbing, electricity and even computer connectivity, the containers can provide you with the space you’ve always wanted.
An innovative builder in London, England has turned a set of shipping containers into a the Fawood Children’s Center, a nursery center for small children. With balconies, windows and walkways, this nursery is one of a kind. Thanks to their customizable nature, several shipping containers can be put together in any way imaginable and turned into a fantastic children’s space.
From mega-malls with ladders to reach the second story, to stand-alone shops, shipping containers are being turned into fantastic retail stores. In the Ukraine, shipping containers have been put together to build a mall larger than the Mall of America! Puma and Starbucks have both utilized shipping containers to make eco-friendly stores, and several entrepreneurs are using upcycled shipping containers rather than new builds.
Thanks to their portability, steel shipping containers are being used to house museums. These museums can be closed, stacked and shipped to anywhere in the world. These traveling museums are then set up in a new location, allowing more people the chance to view the exhibits. From historic art to living exhibits, these museums quickly become the cultural center of their destination, if even for a short time.
Steel shipping containers have a tremendous amount of functionality after they are emptied of their contents. Rather than retiring them to a container graveyard, innovators are using them to benefit society. From offices to daycares, from restaurants to relief shelters, these shipping containers are finding their way into our society in growing numbers.
Consultant Frank Sanders works with businesses to create new uses for a recycled or reclaimed portable storage container. Whether you’re thinking about an economical storage container rental, or purchasing a recycled one for a business project, you’ll find their many uses inspiring.